Rubus bellardii Weihe

Rubus bellardii Weihe

Weber (1983) argues that Rubus bellardii Weihe would be a nomen illegitimum because Weihe includes in the protologue R. glandulosus Bell. A precise analysis of Weihe’s publication leads, however, to a different conclusion.

Weihe adds after the characteristics of the species:

‘Weihe et Nees ab Esenb. l.c. fasc. IX. t. 43 Günth. stirp. Siles. p. 86. R. glandulosus , Bell. app. ad fl. ped. Willd. En. 548. Hayne Dendr. fl. 106 Guimpel D. holz. t. 89.

R. Köhleri, Weihe in litt. R. flagelliformis, Köhler mscpt.’

R. koehleri and R. flagelliformis are not relevant for nomenclature for these refer to unpublished work.

The issue of Weihe et Nees that deals with R. bellardii is published later than the Flora of Bluff & Fingerhut (TL2). Obviously Weihe had already got printing proofs with pagination of both, for he refers in both works to the other one. The publication by Günther is a nomen nudum.

So it is only of interest what the series ‘R. glandulosus , Bell. app. ad fl. ped. Willd. En. 548. Hayne Dendr. fl. 106 Guimpel D. holz. t. 89’ means and more precisely the reference to Bellardi. At first sight it might seem this is an inclusion of an earlier validly published name and according to ICN art. 52.2 this would result in a superfluous name and an illegitimate status for R. bellardii. One must, however, wonder why Weihe would change a name that is very well fitting to his plants and not keep to the name R. glandulosus like he did with R. hirtus Waldst. & Kit.

If we compare how Weihe makes his references we come to a different conclusion than a nomen superfluum. Real references to earlier authors are provided with page numbers in Weihe’s contribution to the Flora, e.g. the other works to which he refers in this case, but also the references lower on that page (except from the alphabetic list of Steudel 1821). In the case of Bellardi he does not give a page number. Therefore we must read the phrase ‘Bell. app. ad fl. ped. Willd. En. 548.’ as a whole: it is not about Bellardi’s publication but about Willdenow’s reference to it and thus about R. glandulosus ssu Willd.

R. glandulosus Bell. has been interpreted differently by authors preceding to Weihe - and all incorrectly, as Weihe makes clear : there are a R. glandulosus Günther , R. glandulosus Menke, R. glandulosus Schleicher, R. glandulosus Willd. It might be precisely this double reference to R. glandulosus by Willdenow that triggered Weihe to insert ‘Bell. app. ad fl. ped.’ It is Willdenow’s reference to this work where it is about here and not Willdenows own (other) R. glandulosus – but nevertheless Willdenow’s conception of R. glandulosus Bell.

So we can save the classic name Rubus bellardii Weihe for the species that recently has been called R. pedemontanus Pinkw. which was the very unfortunate consequence of rejection of R. bellardii. Firstly R. pedemontanus might be a specimen of R. bellardii, but I am not quite certain. It is at least not a normal form. Next to that there are probably more names that were published for this taxon between 1825 and 1898, such as R. aquisgranensis Foerster (1878). If one of these names can be ascertained there would occur another change of name. Thus, as it is not at all sure that Weihe created a nomen superfluum we do better keeping to the basics of nomenclature, as expressed in the preamble, and save a name that has been in use for one and a half century in all literature and collections.


Foerster, A. 1878. Flora Excursiora des Regierungsbezirkes Aachen sowie der angrenzenden Gebiete der belgischen und holländischen Provinz Limburg. Rudolph Barth, Aachen.

Steudel. E. 1821. Nomenclator botanicus. Cotta, Stuttgart/Tübingen.

Weber, H.E.. 1983. Nomenklatorische und taxonomische Bemerkungen zu Rubus glandulosus

Bellardi und Rubus bellardii auct. Willdenowia 13: 141–146.

Weihe, C.EA.. & C.G. Nees Von Esenbeck.1822–27. Rubi Germanici. Die Deutschen Brombeersträuche Schönian’sche Buchhandlung, Elberfeld.

Weihe, K.E. 1825. Rubus L. In: M.J. Bluff & C.A. Fingerhut, Compendium Florae Germaniae 1: 665–691. J.L. Schrag, Norimbergae (Neurenberg).